New Eden 2004

New Eden
New Eden is a power metal band that is the brainchild of ex-Steel Prophet guitarist Horacio Colmenares, formed in 1993. New Eden's debut, Through The Make Believe, received critical acclaim, with its classic American power metal style. Soon after vocalist Victor Vaca left and was replaced by vocalist James Rivera (ex-Helstar). Unfortunately personality clashes within the band arose, with the eventual result being four of the five members (all except Horatio Colmenares) leaving and forming Destiny's End. Colmenares eventually recruited a second New Eden lineup. After the release of "Obscure Master Plan" on Metal Blade there have been numerous lineup changes, most noteably the addition of ex-Steel Prophet vocalist Rick Mythiasin. "Stagnant Progression" was released by the band at the end of the year in 2003. Former Recon vocalist Rod Dickenson joined the band in 2008 and performed his first show with them in Germany (HOA 2008) only three weeks after auditioning for the band.

Through the Make Believe New Eden - Through the Make Believe (Sentinel Steel)1997

1. "Through the Make Believe" (1:36)
2. "Nightmare" (3:00)
3. "Captive Soul" (4:35)
4. "Sepuka" (4:34)
5. "Bullet Head" (2:26)
6. "Now That You Have Gone" (4:30)
7. "Unlock the Door" (5:45)
8. "Symptoms of Time" (5:06)
9. "Piracy" (3:44)
10."Sunshine" (4:05)
11."Empty Man" (6:35)

3/5 of this version of New Eden would soon become Destiny's End. "Through the Make Believe" is one great power/speed metal disc. Some of this stuff is stinking FAST! I've heard rumors that what the band did was tune down their guitars and play it slower to the tape, then they sped the whole thing up when they were done recording. Hmm, who cares how they did it, point is it sounds great and I've heard they've always been able to pull it off live. Vocalist Victor Vaca has a superb clean, high, almost operatic voice that suits the style of metal very well. Oh, and this disc has more hooks than a tackle box. We're talking REAL METAL here! Great lyrics to boot! Weak cover art, but with music this good, who cares! I hear this disc is now out of print and in high demand. I'm sure with music this good someone will re-issue it eventually.

Obscure Master Plan New Eden - Obscure Master Plan (Nuclear Blast) 1999

1. "The Promise" (5:01)
2. "Evil Logic" (3:58)
3. "I Am" (2:57)
4. "Dance of the Dead" (4:53)
5. "Demons of Earth" (5:37)
6. "Epitaph" (5:48)
7. "Flicker of Faith" (6:58)
8. "Shades of You" (6:10)
9. "Sorrows" (3:39)
10."Land of Filth and Money" (5:03)

Horacio returns with a new band and a new album amidst rumors that the band has broken up. Horacio's liner notes state, "According to some people, New Eden is 'no more' so I guess this album is just a figment of our imagination." The music on "Obscure Master Plan" is very similar to that of "Through the Make Believe." Lots of double bass, speedy guitar playing and clean power metal vocals. I've listened to this disc repeatedly but this album took a bit longer to grow on me than "Through the Make Believe." I think the big difference is in the vocals and vocal melodies, which aren't quite as catchy as before. Not a bad power metal album, however.

Stagnant Progression New Eden - Stagnant Progression (P&P Records) 2004

1. "Threshold of Tolerance" (5:54)
2. "Contemptuous World" (5:44)
3. "Advocate" (5:30)
4. "No ill Intent" (6:52)
5. "Mortal Realizations" (6:50)
6. "For My Love" (6:11)
7. 'Emptiness" (5:17)
8. "Pawn for the King" (5:03)
9. "Stagnant Progression" (4:57)
10. "Freezing My Darkside" (8:10)

My first thought after hearing this disc all the way through was that "Stagnant Process" sounds more like Steel Prophet than Steel Prophet did on their 2004 release "Beware." Of course since New Eden now features two ex-Steel Prophet members, I guess that is to be expected. Long time Steel Prophet vocalist Rick Mythiasin always was a big part of the band's charisma, and he certainly brings that charisma to New Eden. Certainly this CD is miles ahead of Steel Prophet's last lackluster CD, as well as blowing the doors off of New Eden's sophmore release. Despite the 2003 copyright, this CD was released on December 31st, 2003, so essentially it was a 2004 release, which is why is made my 2004 list and not my 2003 list.

Solvingforx New Eden - Solving for X (Pure Steel Records) 2012

1.   Anthem of Hate (3:44)
2.   Flames for Hades (4:18)
3.   Brainless (5:28)
4.   The Not Self (4:36)
5.   Unsolved Aggressions (4:10)
6.   Life not Death (4:53)
7.   Searching the Loss (4:19)
8.   Crawling Erect (3:15)
9.   Infecting the Lie (3:32)
10. Watcher (4:33)
11. Three Words (4:35)

New Eden are American power metal band formed in California during the dark days of heavy metal, the 1990's. Unfortunately New Eden are an underrated and often forgotten band. To be honest, I had all but forgotten about Horacio Colmenares and New Eden as well. After all, it had been nearly a decade since they released their last CD, "Stagnant Progression". One day while wasting some time on Facebook, a friend I hadn't heard from in a long time contacted me. Rod Arias, formerly the vocalist of Recon, contacted me and we discussed what projects and things we had been doing over the years since we last spoke. He told me that he had been singing for New Eden since 2008 and that they had just put out a new CD. My response back was, "wow, Horacio Colmenares' band?" Of course, it was. Having seen Rod sing with Recon several times and being totally blown away by his performance, I know the guy can belt out those high notes and shatter glass. I specifically remember hearing him sing Deliverance's "Slay the Wicked" and being completely floored by his range and vocal prowess. As such I was excited to hear something new from New Eden with Rod on vocals. However, Rod immediately informed me that, "my vocal style has changed. Horacio wanted a more modern, dark and aggressive approach". Regardless, already being a fan of New Eden, I immediately ordered my friend's CD and anxiously awaited it's arrival.

"Solving for X" is indeed modern, dark and aggressive, but it is not a radical departure from the previous New Eden releases. In fact, I would describe the music as American power metal with heavy, down-tuned guitars, plenty of double bass drumming and tempos pushing into realms of speed metal and thrash. If I were to use a comparison, perhaps a cross between Helstar and Agent Steel with some modern Flotsam & Jetsam thrown in for good measure. Despite Rod's warning about the vocals, I was still hoping to hear a few high-pitched screams. However Rod pretty much sticks to a mid-range Ronnie James Dio-style of singing. While I would have loved to have heard some of those belted out high-notes, Rod's vocals work well with the fast, modern and aggressive style that New Eden were going for on this release. This is real power metal, not keyboard-saturated Euro-power metal.

The biggest fault with "Solving for X" is the lack of memorable hooks. The music is heavy, fast and complex but unlike the band's wonderful debut, "Through the Make Believe", immediate hooks are far and few between. So despite the stellar musicianship, the album can be a bit labor-some to listen to at first. With repeated listens I found the album more enjoyable. However, I am hoping that with their next release Rod will be give free reign to unleash his power range. This alone should make the songs more interesting in my opinion.

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